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Best Picture Subtexts, “Moon”-Inspired Hip Hop, “Predator” Musical and More Discussion Fodder

Best Picture Subtexts, "Moon"-Inspired Hip Hop, "Predator" Musical and More Discussion Fodder

Ron Jeremy as a Danny DeVito-like Penguin in “The Justice League XXX.” A new safe for work trailer for the hardcore porn parody can be seen here.

Keep reading for discussion fodder on the Oscars, “The Social Network,” “The King’s Speech,” “127 Hours,” “Grease,” “Toy Story 3,” “Moon,” “Pulp Fiction,” the “Terminator” franchise, “Predator,” Apple product placement, “Wrath of the Titans,” “Sex and the City” and remakes of “Loft,” “The Bodyguard,” “Hello Ghost” and “Soapdish.”

– Lawrence Meyers at Big Hollywood looks at the morals and subtext of some of this year’s Best Picture nominees and finds some common themes. On “127 Hours”:

Subtext: Our increasing disconnectedness will doom us.

Interestingly, three films in this year’s list are related to human communication. The King’s Speech is the most direct treatise on the significance of direct, compassionate human interaction, and its power in bringing hope to the masses. With 127 Hours, Aron’s disconnectedness nearly dooms him. It isn’t just his will to survive that gets him out of his jam, it’s his desire to connect with people for real.

And on “The Social Network”:

Subtext: The Internet is not your friend; real people are.

Yes, the Internet can bring people together, but it won’t keep them together. It’s interesting that communication is what brings the characters together in The King’s Speech, but that the invention designed to enhance communication tears the characters apart in The Social Network. Some may read the film’s conclusion as a step forward for Mark, in that he’s reaching out. I read it as a sign that he has so alienated everyone and so scornful of human interaction, that he’s left to stew in his own loneliness.

– You can check out my reviews of and predictions for the three short film categories over at Cinematical. In last week’s Doc Talk column, I went through the documentary shorts (and a little bit on the features). Now I’ve also covered the live action and animated shorts for the Eat My Shorts column. My favorites are “Poster Girl,” “Day & Night” and “The Confession.” I think the latter will lose, though, to “Na Wewe.”

– Oscar hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway reenact the end of “Grease”:

– Matt Stopera shares ’33 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the “Toy Story” Trilogy’ at BuzzFeed. Funny, I thought “Toy Story 3” was loosely based on “The Brave Little Toaster”:

The plot of the Toy Story 3 is loosely based on the original treatment for Toy Story, which had Tinny getting lost at a rest stop and being found by a junk man, who throws him into back of his truck. Tinny meets a ventriloquist dummy and they both decide to stick together. But in the end they end up in a preschool where they’ll never get lost or outgrown. Tinny can be seen on the cover of a magazine in one scene in Toy Story 3.

– Lovers of sci-fi hip hop should check out Richard Rich and Max Tannone’s “Selene,” which was inspired by the film “Moon” and samples its score and quotes from Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. The 5-song EP is available free here.

Selene by Max Tannone[via Badass Digest]

– Another reason I feel bad about not being a “House M.D.” watcher. The show recently parodied “Pulp Fiction” rather brilliantly:
[via Live for Films]

– Luke Holland at Den of Geek offers ’10 ways to save the Terminator franchise,’ including this suggestion that the next “Terminator” have a better love story:

The first two films were so strong because, at their absolute cores, they were love stories, the first between Kyle Reece and Sarah Connor, and the second between John and his estranged mother and an unlikely father figure.

The films fleshed out these characters perfectly, helped in no small part by the performances of Michael Biehn, Edward Furlong and the incredible Linda Hamilton. The TV series also continued in this mould (as it had more than enough time to develop its relationships effectively and believably).

The third and fourth films didn’t quite manage it, however. The third was simply in such a hurry to reach the end, while cramming so much in along the way, that it didn’t have time to give the relationships space to breath as Cameron did in T2 by, effectively, slowing the film down to a crawl for large portions of its runtime. The fourth film almost did away with the human aspect of the story altogether, leaving in its place the interesting, but poorly realised idea of a machine believing it was human.

With strong character relationships comes audience bonding, and with this comes suspense when the characters we are invested in are in danger. With this comes a great film.

Apple products were seen in 30% of last year’s 33 films that were #1 at the box office. This is actually a decrease from 2009’s 43% and 2008’s 50%.

If it bleeds we can kill it! I will have this tune from the non-existent “Predator” musical in my head all week.

REMAKE NEWS

– I know some great filmmakers have made great remakes of their own films, but it still upsets me when a foreigner immediately redoes himself for Hollywood. Next up is Erik Van Loy who arrives for a rehash of 2008’s Belgian mystery thriller “Loft,” about five men, a loft and a discovered body. Patrick Wilson and James Marsden have been cast. The original screenplay by Bart De Pauw will be adapted by Wesley Strick, whose remake credits include “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Cape Fear” and “Return to Paradise.”

– Now, will Kim Young-tak be wooed to redo his Korean comedy “Hello Ghost”? I doubt it. Anyway, Chris Columbus bought the high-in-demand rights to the film, about a man who sees ghosts after a suicide attempt. If Columbus decides to direct it himself, look for the suicide to change to accident, the man to be a kid and the ghosts to be bumbling crooks. In a way, it could also be a remake of “The Sixth Sense” but funnier and for the whole family.

– The Hollywood Reporter brings confirmation of a “Soapdish” remake. I already wrote on this news last May, when Pajiba first reported it, but there is now the addition of writer-director Ben Schwartz (“Robot Chicken”) at the helm.

– It doesn’t surprise me that “The Bodyguard” is being remade, but I wonder if current Oscar nominee Luke Matheny (“God of Love”) will like it as much as he likes the original (maybe he could direct it?). The rest of us shouldn’t mind at all, except that it might appropriately feature a song remake, as well. Not that anything could be as irritating as Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You.” Two years ago, by the way, a remake was mentioned as a vehicle for Rihanna and Channing Tatum. As much as Tatum is perfect for the role of an Iraq War vet turned bodyguard, I wonder if his star power is too badly fading.

SEQUEL NEWS

– Director Jonathan Liebesman told Cinematica’s Todd Gilchrist that despite complaints about “Clash of the Titans,” the sequel, “Wrath of the Titans” will also be converted into 3D rather than shot in the format. Also: “Inception” is being converted, too?

“I didn’t want to convert, but Warner Brothers showed me how far conversion’s come,” he explained. “You’ve got Chris Nolan doing ‘Inception,’ converting the DVD, you’ve got ‘Harry Potter’ being converted, ‘Star Wars’ being converted, so the conversion process has improved dramatically in the past two years.”

Hopefully it will be shown in 2D so you can see it as Liebesman means for it to be seen?

Kristen Davis is completely against the rumored “Sex and the City” prequel. But she’s hoping there will be another sequel. So she doesn’t mind killing the franchise as long as she’s getting paid to be a part of it?

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